Since being in Pittsburgh, we’ve met with countless candidates ranging from 21 year old college kids to 50 year old retired school teachers. We’ve made a handful of offers but most of them fell through because the nanny was not upfront about the job they were really seeking.
CARE.com Should be Renamed SCAM.com
How are we finding this great bunch of candidates you ask? Well, we’ve used most of the online sites, including Care.com and also a few local agencies. We’ve even gotten a few recommendations from friends. In total, it’s amounted to little more than a few dozen wasted nights, and a slew of broken promises.
We met with a woman we really liked. She was a high level executive for many years in the financial services industry and took care of several kids while doing so. We asked why someone so qualified to return to the office place wanted to continue working as a nanny when the pay wasn’t nearly as good. She swore up and down she wanted the job. We checked her references, ran a background check and when we called a few days later to make the offer she accepted a job as an executive assistant in an office. I’m glad she found a job she likes, but don’t waste my time. Be honest.
Then we met another woman we liked, went through the background paperwork and made her an offer too. She was returning to the work force after raising her own children. We worked out dates and times and thought we were all set, and then she took a job as a nursing assistant. But we didn’t find that out from her because she didn’t return any of our messages – we found out from the agency rep – who quite obviously doesn’t have the skills necessary to interview a candidate and find out what they really want.
Nanny Agencies Are Glorified Craigslist Posters
My experience with most “nanny agency” reps is that they do nothing more than place ads for nannies on Craigslist and then charge families thousands of dollars for that connection service. It’s the biggest scam in the child care industry (next to care.com) and the practice should be regulated more closely.
You’ll notice on the the Nanny agency websites they sell the fact that they are created by mothers and owned by mothers and they know what its like to need a nanny, to interview nannies, to work with nannies. But then you get their paperwork and it’s all CYA – cover your ass mode.
They make no promises about the person’s background – although on the website they state how thorough their interviewing is and how they know exactly what to ask to root out the candidate’s real intentions and experiences.
In fact, they take no responsibility at all for the integrity of the candidates which they present even though they purport to “screen” everyone so we only meet with the best.
I wrote on this blog about our first experience with a nanny agency which connected us with a woman who refused to return our house key until we threatened to call the police on her. Thankfully we had a nanny contract in place.
But this last one really takes the cake.
Bad Nanny Takes Her First Day Off
On paper, she seemed fantastic, mother of a few kids in their teens, involved with the local PTA – great experience.
We instantly liked her when we met, as did our daughter. We moved quickly with the background checks and reference calling because we didn’t want to miss out on someone we really liked. We made the offer and she accepted right away. We decided on a start date and looked forward to her starting.
Then, that date came and went. No contact, and since then she doesn’t return emails or phone calls.
Finally, she sends an email saying she got her dates mixed up and that it didn’t matter because he husband had accepted another job and her situation changed.
I sincerely doubt all of that transpired in the three days she decided to duck all my contact attempts, and we certainly don’t want to stand in the way of anyone’s career. But still, the decent thing to do would have been to notify us when she got that info.
In any event, it’s back to the drawing board. Navigating the world of nannies has proved extremely tough these past two months. Extremely tough.
Anyone have any better ideas of where can find a reputable nanny for our 2 year old? Please, let me know.